Who says victories help the recruiting process? In the case of Charles Henley, a loss left the biggest impression.
Henley, a heavily recruited tailback-defensive back at Brookhaven High in Columbus, Ohio, verbally committed to attend Kansas on a football scholarship.
Henley said he started following KU after watching the Jayhawks' 49-7 loss to Nebraska back on Nov. 7.
"They got beat, but I liked the style they played," Henley said. "I liked that they send their backs out to the flats."
Henley, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, rushed for a single-season state record 2,680 yards and scored 37 touchdowns his senior year, helping Brookhaven reach the Division Two state semifinals and finish 11-2.
As a defensive back, he had nine interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
"I'VE HAD a couple of other players that were close to him, but he's probably the best total package," Brookhaven coach Greg Miller said. "He's very strong, and he has 4.5 speed. He's a very good young man. He's kind of quiet. He lets his actions take care of things."
Those actions earned him numerous awards. Henley was named the Central Ohio and the state's Division Two player of the year.
"He was first-team all-everything," Miller said.
Henley visited the KU campus on Dec. 14 and later visited Ohio State. After his OSU trip, he canceled trips to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue.
"Really, it came down to, I just felt better about KU," Henley said. "They made me feel like I was at home. I felt I could come up there and make a big impact."
HENLEY SAID that feeling was helped by some others who had gone before. Maurice Douglas, from inner-city Columbus, and Chip Hilleary and Monte Cozzens, from suburban Westerville, were starters for the Jayhawks during the '92 season.
"I knew Douglas and Cozzens and Hilleary were from here," Henley said. "They had success. I thought I could, too. I don't know them personally, but we've all talked."
Henley's coach felt he was "very comfortable" about Kansas.
"He had a lot of faith in coach Mason," Miller said, "and he felt comfortable with the whole situation. And he knew about the success some other kids from here had at Kansas."
Henley his full name is Charles Henley Jr.; his nickname is June, short for junior said he was relieved his recruitment was over. He said he planned to sign a letter of intent during the signing period, which begins Feb. 3.
"I WAS heavily recruited," he said. "When I broke the record, everybody in Ohio was saying go to Ohio State, or go here or go there. It was kind of tough. I was ready to get on with it."
Henley said he had met the NCAA standardized-test requirements and planned to major in accounting at KU.
In other KU recruiting news, Arizona State landed two players the Jayhawks were recruiting Jason Verdugo, a quarterback from Tucson, and Darrell Leblanc, a linebacker from Los Angeles and Richard Carter, a wide receiver from Passaic, N.J., announced he'll choose from among Kansas, Rutgers, Maryland and Iowa.